Visual Language – Week 6: Logos

7 weeks seemed long for someone who struggled to learn a new language from completely nothing to at least something; but 7 weeks also seemed short for someone who was amazed at how far he had come in the visual language world when looking back. Thanks to Professor Su Hyun Kim, it is the first time I realized that the speaking the language of the eye is so much fun and meaningful.

For our final week’s project, we were asked to design a business card for ourselves. For me, I made two sets of cards using a logo which represents my personality and resonates with the culture I was born in. And here they are:

 

Ideation

It sounded simple to just design a logo and put it onto a card. But to create a logo from scratch and make it really speak could take some head-aching hours.

I started from looking into elements that are unique about me, and have a deep connection to who I am. I’d thought of my face, my instrument, my favorite foods, my top ten movies and books.. But given the limited space on a small card, it turned out that a simple but convincing piece of element works the best. So I turned to using my name (Yuguang, or 宇光 in Chinese, which basically means the universe and the light) and created drawings based on its meaning.

 

Later, I realized that instead of drawing my own little pictures for each characters, the characters themselves have a figurative nature. They have gone through multiple iterations since B.C. 1600, and they actually evolved from figures people draw in describing their world. What’s shown below is the evolving history of the Chinese character of “light”.

I looked through these versions and eventually landed on the earliest and most primitive version – the Bone-Script Characters, the first one on the left.

 

Building Process

Based on the chosen character, I turned it into a logo, and simplified it so that it could possibly fit into a business card’s context.

What followed next were the topics we’ve learned: Typeface, Color and Composition. I tried several combinations of typefaces, palette and composition, and narrowed the results to two sets.

The hardest part was to find a typeface that somehow worked well with the logo, and a composition that could strike a balance between my name on the card and the logo. I reduced the colors on the first combination, and adjusted the composition and the orientation in the second to give the eye a better focus.

And here are the final designs:

 

 

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